Why Lifting Heavy is the Key to Fat Loss
You know that losing fat involves increasing your metabolism.
What you may not know is that muscle plays a huge role in raising metabolism. A pound of muscle burns about 60 calories a day while a pound of fat burns 5. That means any growth in your muscle tissue is going to help you burn more calories all day long. In fact, strength training has all kinds of great effects on your body like:
- Increasing resting metabolic rate so you burn more calories, even while at rest.
- Making you lean and slim–muscle takes up less space than fat so, the more you have, the slimmer you are
- Strengthening bones and connective tissue, which can protect your body from injuries in daily life
- Enhancing balance and stability
- Building confidence and self-esteem
However…this only works if you’re using enough weight to stimulate that muscle growth. In other words, if you can lift the weights you’ve chosen (for most exercises) more than 16-20 times, you might not see the kind of fat loss you would if you increased your weight.
So, why don’t we lift more weight? For some, lifting weights is scary, especially if you’ve never done it before. The machines…the dumbbells…the people who seem to know what they’re doing…it’s enough to make anyone skip weights altogether. Aside from that, there are other fears that invade our minds, such as:
- It feels weird. The goal of weight training, if you didn’t know, is to lift as much weight as you possibly can (with good form!) for the number of reps you’ve chosen. In daily life, we typically don’t push ourselves to fatigue in anything we do, so this idea may not only feel foreign, it may feel downright miserable. That’s one reason it’s best for beginners to gradually work towards that.
- Fear of injury. Because our muscles burn when we challenge them with resistance, people often feel they’re injuring themselves when they lift. And injury can be a real fear for beginners since injury can occur if you max out before your body is ready for it. Taking it slow while still challenging your body will help protect you from injury.
- Confusion. When you haven’t lifted weights before, you may not know what’s too heavy and what’s too light. It may take some time to get a feel for your body and what it can handle.
- Fear of getting bulky. There’s still a tired old myth running around that men should lift heavy and women should lift light to avoid getting big and bulky. Women hear this: Lifting heavy weights will NOT make you huge–you simply don’t have the testosterone levels to build big muscles. Lifting heavy weights WILL help you lose fat.
- Fear of pain. The other thing about lifting weights is the psychological factor. The discomfort level associated with training to fatigue is pretty high…if you haven’t lifted weights before, you may not be able to overcome that discomfort enough to lift as heavy as you’re capable of. Again, this is one reason it’s best to err on the side of caution (if you need to), while always working towards more challenge and more weight.
These fears often keep people lifting the same amount of weight for weeks, months or even years. Most of these fears are unfounded, if you take time to ease into a weight training program and work (slowly) towards the muscle fatigue that will make your muscles grow.
Why should I hire a fitness coach?
There is a lot of information out there in regards to health, fitness and weight loss. It can be very confusing and overwhelming, but with the guidance of a professional you can make informed decisions about your program.
We all have good intentions but often times don’t follow through with our health and fitness goals. Accountability to someone else is always a big motivator for sticking with a fitness or weight loss program.
Safety and proper technique can assure steady progress towards your goals while greatly reducing the chance of an injury that can set you back.
How many times a week do I need to workout?
A lot depends on your fitness goals. I recommend three days of weight training and at least three days of cardio. If that feels like too big of a committment to start, keep in mind that, for exercising, some is better than none. Do what you can but keep in mind that you have to make time for exercise. If you wait to find time, your exercise program will never happen.
What about nutrition and diet?
A fitness coach is not a registered dietician, but I can give good sound nutritional recommendations. I can teach you about healthy food choices and what to avoid. If needed, I can refer you to a professional dietician.
Will I be sore from working out?
Any time that you start a new fitness program you can expect to feel some soreness in your muscles. You are asking your body to do things in ways it hasn’t before. The soreness is temporary and will decrease as your body gets stronger and more able to adapt to the exercise.
How quickly will I see results?
Everyone is different in his or her response to exercise. A greatdeal depends on your effort and dedication. Most people can expect to notice a difference within one month.
What if I have never worked out before?
It’s never too late to start a health and fitness program. Working with a professional is highly recommended for beginners. This is the time to learn proper exercise technique and form. Starting something new can often be intimidating and overwhelming. With proper guidance and instruction by a professional trainer, fitness can be exciting and rewarding.
Am I too old to exercise?
Exercise is for all ages. It is especially important as we age. As we grow older, bodies weaken and our bones become more brittle. As referenced from Personal Fitness Professional 8-00, after the age of 80, the risk of dying from a fall is greater than from a heart attack. A fitness program that includes a combination of strength training, cardiovascular training and flexibility workouts can improve your circulation, brain functioning, and improve your overall quality of life.The saying “use it or lose it” works best here and defintely applies to our bodies.
How much does it cost to hire a personal fitness coach?
The cost varies depending on whether I come to you or you come to me. The range is between $60-$75 per session. This is a great way to invest in your health and well being.
Do you have any specialty services for seniors?
Yes we do. We have a diabetes specialist on our coaching team and also specialize in Senior Fitness, Balance Work for Seniors, Fall Prevention for Seniors.
How do I schedule my first appointment?
Just call 239.692.9109 and get started on the new you!